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Karbon community kindness

Karbon community kindness

A special message from Jo

I do hope you and your loved ones are safe and well.

This special edition of At home with Karbon is designed to bring you some comfort and reassurance during this unprecedented time.

Over the following pages we tackle the issues you’ve been talking to us about. Our aim is to help to keep you safe, happy, healthy and connected while we’re all indoors and to play our part in helping the UK get through the coronavirus outbreak.

After carefully considering ways to communicate with customers, we decided to create a magazine in print to make sure we reach everyone, especially as some customers don’t have access to the internet.

This is a constantly changing situation, but we want to reassure you that our teams are well-equipped to adapt quickly to what is needed in our Karbon community.

Our services are being reviewed and adapted in line with government guidance to offer maximum protection to our customers and colleagues. Our commitment to deliver the best possible service at all times remains the same.

Thank you for all of your good wishes and enquiries about the well being of our staff. Telephone advisers and housing colleagues have moved to working from home to help keep them safe while they support you. So even when we can’t be with you in person, we’re just on the end of the phone and ready to take your calls. We're also still carrying out emergency repairs.

Please remember to let us know if you are self-isolating, shielding or in an at-risk group so we can support you as much as possible.

#STRONGERTOGETHER

It’s times like these when communities really do pull together. The Karbon community has been flooded with kindness and goodwill, and lots of projects are springing up to build on this momentum.

Pick of the bunch - Karbon’s usual fruit and vegetable deliveries have been redirected to foodbanks in the area, such as PACT House, where they’ve been included in crisis food packs. They are being delivered to the most vulnerable in the community who are finding themselves unable to get supplies or are struggling to afford essentials.

It’s good to talk - Our popular telephone befriending service, Silver Talk, has come into its own these past few weeks. Many people have found comfort from a reassuring chat on the phone, especially those living alone during isolation. We’ve been adapting to the new situation, with a huge surge in Karbon colleagues volunteering to make calls from home. We’re enjoying providing this vital service to customers, many of whom are vulnerable, at this uncertain and often lonely time. If you need a good chat, call Silver Talk on 0191 223 8662.

As if by magic… We’re blown away by the generosity we’ve witnessed in the community. For example, residents at our Retirement Living flats in Heaton were treated to a tasty surprise thanks to a kind donation from community café, the Magic Hat. When volunteers at the café couldn’t make their usual meals for their community food service because of closures, they gave spare food and drink donated by local supermarkets to our residents.

Community Response and Volunteer Project - Karbon colleagues are keen to donate any free time
they have to help the community. So, we’ve set up a special team to organise volunteering. As part of this, we’re working with local authorities to help them identify and support customers most in need. We’re helping with initiatives set up by a wide range of organisations including the NHS, local authorities and community groups. We’re especially determined to connect with customers who are vulnerable to coronavirus, socially isolated or elderly, so we’ll be calling those customers over the coming weeks. When we call let us know how you’re getting on and we’ll help identify support that’s available to you.

We're here to help 

We want to help community groups during the coronavirus outbreak, and we recognise that many of our customers and the communities in which we work are struggling. We’ve created a fund to support those amazing groups, focusing on initiatives helping:

• socially isolated and/or elderly people without support networks
• those unable to afford essentials
• those unable to access the internet

If you’re involved in a community group, no matter how small, apply to us for a financial grant. Simply fill in a form on our website karbonhomes.co.uk/support and if you meet the qualifying criteria, we’ll be able to help quickly. We’ve also got lots of Karbon volunteers willing and ready to help in their local communities so let us know if you are looking for volunteers and we may be able to provide support.

Needing support?

You can register if you or someone you support has a medical condition that makes you/them extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. For example, you’ll be able to ask for help getting deliveries of essential supplies like food. If you’re not sure whether your medical condition makes you extremely
vulnerable, register anyway. You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremelyvulnerable. If you’ve already received your shielding letter from the government don’t forget to register too.

Remember, get in touch with Karbon via the usual channels if you need a referral to your local food bank (see the back page for ways to get in touch and ask to speak to the Money Matters Team). Visit www.trusselltrust.org to find foodbanks near you. If you need information about local community groups, email our Community Connectors at mycommunity@karbonhomes.co.uk, and we can update you on the support we know of in your area.

At the time of print of this edition (03/04/20) we're still undertaking gas safety checks which are required by law. We're doing everything we can to keep you and our colleagues safe when we come in to your homes by sticking to social distancing guidelines and wearing protective gear. We understand if you don’t feel comfortable letting us in but we'll still need to do the check at a later date.

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24 April 2020

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